Some Spanish Fork residents welcome festival of colors, others leave town in response

UTAH COUNTY - Thousands of people will be tossing bags full of colorful cornstarch in the air this weekend in Spanish Fork. Some residents just hope it doesn’t end up on their lawns or cattle.

“The people who live down at the light, their long horns would be covered,” said Shayli Clements-Briggs who lives across the street from the Krishna Temple, the location for Spanish Fork’s 22nd annual Holi Festival.

It’s the biggest Holi Festival outside of India and celebrates the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.

“Everything is budding, everything is blossoming,” said a smiling Vai Warden, Manager at the Krishna Temple. “We never intended for it to be a public festival. We just did it for fun amongst ourselves like they do in India for thousands of years, and people kept joining in.”

Most locals love the culture and money it brings in.

“It’s a big deal for the people here,” said an excited Patricia Burk, who also lives across the street.

Patricia and many of her neighbors allow visitors to park in her backyard, raking in upwards of $2,000 a weekend as a result. However, as many are preparing to come into town, some are looking to get away.

“We did plan the trip on purpose,” Clements-Briggs said of last year’s trip to Disney Land. “We wanted to skip color fest completely.”

The festival kicks off Saturday and the festival managers ask guests one thing.

“Remember people have their homes and lives here and you are only visiting for a day,” Warden concluded.